The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has called on media to raise and support the election umpire in fighting the scourge of fake news as it hinders the delivery of its mandate to the public.
The Commission Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the appeal at a strategic interactive session with Online Publishers in Lagos.
He noted that those who try to undermine the electoral system and their sympathizers use to take the advantage of the social media space to advance their interests and spread falsehood.
He emphasized that the propagandists usually cook up wild allegations against the Commission to frustrate a good policy which they perceive as inimical to their selfish interest.
The INEC Boss urged publisher to always investigate and fact check claims before publication in promoting the tenet of the profession which is fairness and objectivity.
In his contribution, the Commission Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi said that online publishers are key stakeholder to the Commission as they operate with modern day media platforms which serve as an avenue to speak truth to power by leveraging on various social media platforms in dissemination of information.
Mr Oyekanmi noted that its important for INEC to forge a strong alliance with this sector, as there is no doubt that the stakeholders’ meeting is germane in having a cross fertilization of idea on how the Commission can serve the nation.
In a goodwill message, the Executive Director of International Press Center, IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said the interactive session would enable the Commission and media to review the mistake of the past and set agenda for 2023 Election.
Mr Arogundade, therefore, urged the media not to relent in tasking government to make sure that President Muhammed Buhari signed the Electoral Amended Bill before 2023 General Election.
In his reaction, the Executive Director of the Institute For Media and Society, Dr Akin Akingbulu noted that the media is one of the crucial institutions with important roles to play in the electoral process.
He emphasize that the media is so important that they are indispensable in the proper conduct of an electoral process and in the broader functioning of a democracy.
Dr. Akingbulu urged media to continue to play his role as a watchdog with much commitment to sustain democracy in the country.